CRYSTAL LAKE – After taking a pounding from Crystal Lake Central on Monday, Jacobs coach Jamie Murray was thrilled to see how his team responded early in Wednesday’s game.
The Golden Eagles scored two in the first, then six in the second.
“Their approach was ‘Go be aggressive. Don’t let good pitches go by. Hunt your pitch,’” Murray said. “Guys made great contact.”
Just as crucial was Jacobs tacking on runs in the sixth and seventh, as the Eagles held off charging Central, 12-10, in their Fox Valley Conference game Wednesday at Fred Tipps Field.
The Tigers, who won 13-2 on Monday, scored four times in the bottom of the seventh and had Alec Bolanowski at the plate with a runner on first before Jacobs reliever Krzysztof Solis induced a ground ball to second baseman Kyle Washington that ended the game.
“Bend, don’t break. You have to play to 21 outs,” Murray said. “They had the momentum there at the end, we just held on. It could have gone south. Our guys toughed it out.”
Jacobs (4-4, 1-1 FVC) felt like Tuesday’s practice after Monday’s big loss was productive.
“The biggest thing for us coming out today was competitiveness,” shortstop Bryan Belo said. “We kind of lacked that going into Monday. But we knew having a good practice yesterday that we were going to come out firing today.”
Leadoff man Christian Scianna singled and Belo doubled to spark the first inning. Freshman catcher Keegan Connors, with runners on first and third and one out, ripped a single off an 0-2 pitch to help start a six-run second.
“The main thing we did was jump on the ball,” said Washington, who was 3 for 5 and doubled in two runs in the second. “That was big for us, especially being down after the first game (of the series). I just focused on trying to hit the ball, especially with two strikes, just make contact and hit it into play.”
Central (4-4, 1-1) got back in the game with four runs in the third. The Eagles added a run in the sixth on Luke Holub’s home run, then two more in the sixth with RBIs from Scianna and Belo.
The Tigers, even down 12-6, were not done.
With two outs, Central strung together four consecutive hits to make it 12-10. Will Welder singled in Dean Mlaka to bring up Bolanowski, who fouled off three two-strike pitches before grounding out.
“I’m proud of how they battled,” Tigers coach Andy Deain said. “They didn’t play the scoreboard, we just tried to win the inning. We strung a lot of quality at-bats in a row, kept grinding away, that’s all you can ask. We gave ourselves a chance to win in the final inning.”
STAR OF THE GAME
Kyle Washington, Jacobs, so., 2B
Washington was 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored as the Golden Eagles defeated Crystal Lake Central. He bunted in a run in the first inning, then doubled in two in the second.
17: Hits for Central in the loss.
AND ANOTHER THING...
Central’s Dean Mlaka continued his hot hitting early in the season going 4 for 5 with a double, a triple and an RBI. Mlaka, who hits leadoff for the Tigers, tripled and scored in the sixth and doubled in a run in the seventh, then scored.
Jacobs 12, Crystal Lake Central 10
Jacobs 260 101 2 – 12 13 2
CL Central 004 011 4 – 10 17 4
WP: Adam Sonnefeldt, 1-0 (3.1IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K). Save: Krzysztof Solis (1). LP: Nick Angelakos, 0-2 (1.1IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 0K).
Top hitters – Jacobs: Christian Scianna 2-4 (2RBIs), Bryan Belo 2-3 (2B, 2R, RBI), Kyle Washington 3-5 (2B, 3RBIs), Andrew Balkcom 2-4 (2B, R), Keegan Connors 1-2 (R, RBI). CL Central: Dean Mlaka 4-5 (2B, 3B, RBI), Will Welder 3-5 (R, 2RBIs), Jordan Daugherty 1-4 (2B, 2RBIs), Reece Mensching 2-2 (3R), Lucas Irwin 3-4 (RBI), Daniel Williams 2-4 (R, RBI).